Panna cotta with apple salad and hot buttered rum sauce

December 22, 2010

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Serves 8

You need 8 ramekins or custard cups to mold individual panna cotta. Chef Brian Alberg uses plastic cups. To unmold, he makes a cut in each one so the panna cotta slips out. If they don’t, dip the bottoms of the cups in warm water before unmolding.


Olive oil (for the cups)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut open and scraped
2 packages unflavored powdered gelatin
1 1/2 cups apple cider
2 cups buttermilk

1. Rub the inside of eight 6-ounce ramekins or custard cups with olive oil.

2. In a saucepan, combine cream, sugar, and vanilla. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over apple cider.

4. Whisk gelatin mixture into the warm cream until the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the buttermilk. Remove vanilla bean (rinse and use in another dessert).

5. Divide the mixture among the cups. Cover and chill overnight.

6. To serve: Run a knife around the inside of the rims. Turn the panna cotta out onto individual dessert plates.


1 Granny Smith apple, cored, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
1/2 bulb fresh fennel, trimmed (save the fronds) and cut into matchsticks
1/2 small celery root, peeled and cut into matchsticks
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh fennel frond

1. In a bowl, toss the apple, fennel, celeriac.

2. Add the lemon rind and juice, olive oil, and fennel frond. Toss again. Spoon the salad on the panna cotta.


1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dark corn syrup
2 tablespoons rum
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, cream, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat and let the mixture boil gently, stirring often, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon.

2. Remove from the heat and stir in the rum and vanilla. Cool slightly before pouring around the panna cotta.

Adapted from the Red Lion Inn